If you are serving ham for your holiday meal, there is a fundamental question you need to answer before choosing a wine to pair with ham. What type of ham do you have? There’s a plethora of hams … canned, fresh, bone-in, bone out, spiral cut, black forest…and you know what? None of that matters.
For hundreds of years, wine bottle shapes have stayed the same. Shapes for Bordeaux wine bottles have straight sides. Burgundian wine bottle shapes are wider than Bordeaux bottles and have sloping shoulders. Just to really mess with us, those tricky French made the Rhone style wines come in bottles that are almost Burgundian in shape but are actually just a little thinner and taller. Most new world wineries use the same ones for Burgundy and Rhone but the French bottles are technically different. The Champagne bottle form matches function because there is a “sh**load” of pressure in there. A different shape or thinner glass would likely result in a dangerous incident when it breaks under pressure, causing an explosion complete with shrapnel. Then there is the Champagne cork that’s moving at roughly twice the speed of sound and is guaranteed to take out an eye, hit a guy in the crotch or a woman in the chest – possibly all three at once if you subscribe to the JFK single bullet theory.
How much wine is in each bottle?
Wine is measured in milliliters. The standard amount of wine in each bottle is 750 milliliters, which is equivalent to 25 fluid ounces.
How many grapes are used to create each bottle?
It takes approximately 2.5 pounds of grapes to make each bottle of wine. Although grapevines vary widely in their ability to produce grapes, an average vine can generate somewhere between 15 and 20 pounds of grapes over a three-year period. This means that a typical grapevine can turn out six to eight bottles of wine in about three years. As grapevines age, they grow significantly longer and wider, producing more grapes and, thus, more wine.
Step One: Extracting Flavor
The luscious flavor and aroma must be extracted from the fruit before any other step in the winemaking process. This can be accomplished by chopping, crushing, pressing, boiling, or soaking the grapes. Before taking any of these actions, the fruit must be properly prepared. Sometimes, the grapes are peeled and the seeds are removed, though neither of these actions is essential to the procedure. Before extraction, all grapes with brown spots or signs of mold or rot are rejected from the winemaking process.